UPDATED 9/29/20: State health experts: Flu vaccine should be considered “essential” this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, autumn brings with it another unwanted visitor – the flu. The presence of both viruses could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system. While we don’t yet have a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, we do have one to prevent flu. More information available here.